I normally run two sets of tires in the standard original size 275/55 R17 – one for summer and one for winter. That is because in most of Europe I have to get winter tires with the so-called “snowflake symbol” to be street legal in winter. The original equipment tire is Dunlop SP Sport 5000, although named “mud and snow” (M+S) tire, it doesn’t have the symbol, so I can only run those in the summer. I had a set of Pirelli Scorpion Ice+Snow for the winter and they were quite all right. Except that it always annoyed me to have two sets of tires and having to change them. And, if you run Pirellis on dry warm pavement and break real hard, the tire seems to boil and you are suddenly skidding just like in winter.
So this year I decided to look for a proper all season tire that would be also street legal in winter. I found Vredestein Quatrac 3 to have the right designation – it sports the snowflake symbol. So I decided to go for the Vredestein, especially since they were only 165 Euro against the 155 Euro for the standard Dunlop.
Now after running them for two months and three thousand kilometers, I say I am impressed with them for the dry and wet road. They seem to be noticeably softer than the Dunlop and that creates a smoother, quieter ride. The difference is especially noticeable when you ride over small ridges or those speed bumps – Vredestein is much, much quieter and less bumpy over those. The handling is good, I have a feeling they have seriously more grip than the original tire. I like both the stability in curves and the ability to stop more than with the originals.I didn’t have but a few chances to drive in the rain and although I was careful at first the tire has managed both the wet surfaces and overabundance of water quite well.
I did not find any downsides at the moment, so I am really, really happy with the choice so far. I am not usually writing reviews of things but this time I am impressed so here it is. I recommend this tire wholeheartedly as a better replacement than the originals.
How they handle on snow and ice remains to be seen but I have my hopes high.
One more thing: the tire has a very, very “oily” feeling when brand new. The first couple of hundred kilometers was like driving on ice. It settled quickly and now the grip is fantastic but be careful at the beginning.